Sprinter Joris van Gool trains in England: ‘British culture suits me better’

He has been one of the fastest men in the Netherlands for years and believes he can run even faster. Sprinter Joris van Gool (25) from Rijen no longer trains in his own country, but has emigrated to England. “The sports culture here is very different than in the Netherlands. People just don’t kneel down for top athletes.”

It was time for Joris for a new sporting incentive. After seven years of training at Papendal, he changed course. Just under a year before the Olympic Games, he joined trainer Marvin Rowe in England. “I trained with it for a few weeks for the first time in the 2015/2016 season. We have always kept in touch.”

The specialist in the 60 and 100 meters sees clear differences in England with what he was used to. “In the Netherlands you always get the follow-up question whether you work or study as soon as you tell people that you are a sprinter. Here in England, people have more appreciation for top athletes. As an athlete you can earn good money. The sport gives many young guys the opportunity to make something of their lives.”

“If you’re not sharp, you’ll get fired.”

“Athletes in England are more concerned with details than in the Netherlands. From nutrition, rest to recovery, everything is taken very seriously. You have to, because the level is so high that you have to get the most out of it. All athletes are extremely eager. If you’re not sharp, you’ll get shot. This culture suits me. I may be a foreigner, but I notice that the boys like to have me around. And of course I am not a competitor during British championships.”

“Just resting at home, I had trouble with that.”

Physically, Joris feels great. Mentally, there is still a lot to be gained for the Brabander. “You can’t go all the way seven days a week, the body needs time to recover. I still learn here every day how I can use my body smarter. I also notice that I often took top sport home with me too easily. Like always watching images of my race for points for improvement. Then you get to the point of ‘overanalyzing’. I had difficulty with just resting at home. Sometimes ‘being human’ is good too.”

Joris still has a home in the Netherlands, but is often in England for longer periods. Does he ever think about emigration? “That is an option, but it is a hassle as a professional athlete. Because England is no longer in the European Union, there is a lot of arranging involved. At the moment I am happy with how things are going, it is something to discuss after the Games.” thinking.”

“After silver at the National Indoor Championships, I just lay my lazy ass on the couch.”

The move to England has given him the feeling he was looking for. That of a hungry athlete who wants to run faster than ever. “I do things better than I did before. It still has to come out during competitions. Now I’m making small steps in terms of speed, but this whole process takes time. After my silver medal at the National Indoor Championships last Saturday, I am now going to sit on the couch with my lazy ass for a week. Then I will continue the hunt for a ticket for my second Olympic Games.”